Swissminiatur honors Ticino architect from St. Petersburg

Domenico Trezzini, the great architect from Ticino who realized the most important buildings in St. Petersburg in the 18th century, is honored with two new creations at the Swissminiatur in Melide.

After the 350th-anniversary celebrations of Domenico Trezzini (1670-1734) were affected by the pandemic last year, Swissminiatur pays tribute to this important architect this year. On Monday, two new 1:25 scale miniature constructions were inaugurated in the theme park to commemorate him: on the one hand, his birthplace in Astano in Malcantone, and on the other, the monument dedicated to him by sculptor Pavel Ignatiev, which has stood in St. Petersburg since 2014. The two new models, painstakingly created by Swissminiatur specialists after many hours of work, now enrich the popular open-air museum located in Melide on Lake Lugano and recall the work of the great man from the region.

Trezzini, a native of Ticino, worked as an architect for the court of Russian Tsar Peter the Great from 1703.

He created some of the most important buildings in the new capital of the time, including the Kronstadt Fortress, the Peter-and-Paul Fortress with the monumental Peter Gate, the Peter-and-Paul Cathedral, and the Alexander Nevsky Monastery. Domenico Trezzini is more prevalent in St. Petersburg than in his native Switzerland. Since 2018, the international architecture and design competition ‘Golden Trezzini’ has been held in his honor in the Russian cultural metropolis. Swissminiatur director Dominique Vugnier is also a member of its organizing committee.

“Today, when we need new positive motivations, these great stories of collaboration between the people from past could be the beginning of new international synergies”, says Dominique Vugnier, the son of Swissminiatur founder. “Swissminiatur is part of the ‘Golden Trezzini’ organizing committee because we want young architects and designers, including those from Ticino, to receive more international attention. In the meantime, we look forward to your visit to Swissminiatur to experience our humble tribute to the great Swiss architects who have created universal masterpieces.”